This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1 will be as broadcasted by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega w/ Nick Jackson VS Jay White; White wins and becomes the new IWGP USHC.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s championship match.
“When you don’t have a plan, and you just live by chaos and what happens in that moment,” Jay White knows “things aren’t always going to go quite as you would like them too.” That’s how it felt after he lost to The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, when challenging for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. But whatever Tanahashi did, “it worked.” White thought he would have it all, “but that kingdom still belongs” to Tanahashi.
However, there was one man who always saw the Switchblade’s potential. Even when Jay White was a young lion, Kenny Omega knew what he could be. White has the complete package, and could have it all, because he reminds Kenny Omega, of himself. The Cleaner offered a place in The Bullet Club to the Switchblade!
White accepted the shirt, and raised hands with Omega, only to attack him! “Kenny, did you forget?” He knows what Kenny is like, what The Bullet Club is like. Kenny himself admitted to feeling like an idiot after falling for that. White knows Kenny only wanted to keep White down with that recruitment, but Kenny doubts White can win against him after losing to Tanahashi.
To show he was serious, White joined Chaos. White knows going up against Bullet Club alone is too much, so he allied with the top faction to counter them. Kenny still believes this is too much too soon for the young White. White can’t handle the responsibility of being champion, he can’t handle Omega’s mission. But White says everything Omega is building is threatened by White. “Everything you’ve built will be The Switchblade’s.” Can the young star make a name for himself at the expense of The Cleaner?
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega w/ Nick Jackson VS Jay White!
There’s no time to waste, here is the main event! Can the Switchblade become the second-ever IWGP United States Champion? Or will the inaugural IWGP US Champion extend his reign even further?
White gets eyes on the prize, and we begin.
The fans cheer and rally already as Omega and White circle. They tie up, go around the ropes, and eventually Omega puts White in a corner. Omega honors the break, but with a bit of a mocking pat on the face. White runs out but into Omega’s kick and headlock. White rolls Omega off to put on a headlock, but Omega powers out. Omega jumps, expecting White to go under, but White has stopped short to slap Omega! Omega grins and laughs it off, but then slaps White right back. White goes to retaliate but Omega gets him first, and puts the headlock back on. White powers out, Omega speeds things up to boot White down.
Omega waits for White, then chops him when he stands up. White comes back, and gets another chop. White hits back with body shots and chops, backing Omega into a corner. More stomps and chops from White, then he brings Omega to another corner for a buckle bump. White keeps on Omega with forearms, but Omega reverses the corner to corner whip. Omega runs in but White puts him on the apron. White swings but Omega counters, then slingshots but into a forearm. Omega tumbles to the floor but lands on his feet. White builds speed while Omega climbs back up, to blast Omega to barriers with a dropkick!
White goes to the apron while Omega drags himself up, and White topples Omega down with a flying forearm. He takes his time bringing Omega back up, to rock him with a European Uppercut. White rams Omega’s back into the apron edge, then lights him up with a chop. White tells camera crews to move, and while fans rally, he whips Omega at barriers. Omega stops himself, then retaliates with a mule kick. He hops up but White brings him down, for a snap back suplex to the ground! White hurries Omega into the ring and covers, ONE! Omega gets out but White pursues, for another chop. White peels back the floor mats! He brings Omega to the exposed concrete, but Omega resists. White stomps him, clubs him, and scoops him up, to slam him on the concrete! Omega writhes in pain while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and White lets the 20-count climb on Omega. Omega gets up and beats the count, but White is already upon him again. White drags Omega up and puts him in a corner. Omega fights back with haymakers but White kicks low. White drags and whips Omega but Omega kicks him away. Omega runs but into a mule kick, White throws Omega down by his hair then dropkicks low. Cover, TWO, but White keeps his focus. He drags Omega over into an Indian Deathlock, and then clubs Omega’s back before bridging for the Muta Lock!
Omega jabs his fingers in White’s eyes to counter, and White is forced to let go. White still stands up and stalks Omega, to rock him with haymakers. He wrenches an arm and chops Omega, then brings him to a knee for more chops. Omega fights back with haymakers, then gives chops in return. White gives another EuroUpper that sits Omega down, then drags him up for a half-hatch suplex. White holds on and rolls over for a second half-hatch, then repeat the roll. He wants to suplex Omega into buckles but Omega powers him backwards into them. When White doesn’t let go, Omega goes again, and the impact breaks the hold. Omega whips White corner to corner, then runs in. White evades, and tries for that third, but Omega resists, countering with a big back body drop.
The fans applaud while both men get space. Omega takes aim from the corner, and starts rallying with double ax handles. He spins but White boots him. White whips, but Omega counters into the fireman’s carry, and hits the rolling senton! Omega keeps moving, for the second rope moonsault! TWO, but Omega keeps calm. The fans chant for Kenny as he gets up and brings White into the full nelson. White resists, so Omega gives him palm strike after palm strike to the back. Omega tries a powerbomb but White body drops him over. They both go at each other, Omega kicks, then things speed up, but White runs Omega over with a back elbow!
Fans rally again while Omega and White get to corners. White runs in, hits another EuroUpper, then saido suplex! Cover, TWO, but White keeps his cool. He goes back to Omega, and deadlifts him up. Omega elbows out, they standing switch for standing switch, and White elbows out. White gives an extra elbow, then runs, but into the huricanrana from Omega! Omega recovers while White ends up outside the ring. He goes into Terminator pose, then rises with the drums. He runs, builds speed, and FLIES!
Direct hit, and the fans fire up! Omega stands up and takes his time with the 20-count as he brings White up and in. He reenters, and gets running, for a leap-frog bulldog! Cover, TWO! Omega grits his teeth, but stands back up to hear the fans. He drags White up, and lifts with a cross-leg fisherman suplex, for the Ushigoroshi neckbreaker!
Omega doesn’t cover here, he “loads up”, and takes aim. He says, “BANG!”, but White dodges the V-Trigger to German Suplex! But Omega lands on his feet! He blocks each of White’s punches with kicks, but White hits with a chop. White runs, but into Omega’s chop. Omega runs, but into a Complete Shot! And then the deadlift German Suplex! White fires up, drags Omega into the fireman’s carry, and hits a Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! The fans applaud this great match while White shakes his head. He clobbers Omega on the mat, then drags him back up. White rocks Omega with another EuroUpper, then another chop. He gives another EuroUpper, then another chop. White gives more and more EuroUppers, then another chop. White runs, and hits another EuroUpper. He won’t stop, he runs again, but Omega leaps forward with a huge V-Trigger!
Both men are down but the fans are fired up. Omega fires himself up and fans rally for him. He follows White to the apron, kicking him, to then V-Trigger him off the apron!
Referee Red Shoes checks on White while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to Omega opening the gate and asking fans to move aside. He returns to White, dragging him up and over, to powerbomb White onto the chairs!
Omega fires up while the fans cheer. He leaves White behind to the mercy of the 20-count. The count reaches its halfway point before White stirs. White hurries, and staggers back to the ring. He manages to beat the count at 18, maybe 19. Omega pats Red Shoes’ head, and walks over to White. He drags White up, full nelson, and hits the Snap Dragon Suplex. He keeps going, dragging White back up into another full nelson, for a second Snap Dragon! Omega drags White up one more time, puts on the full nelson again, but White resists the hat trick! Omega keeps trying, but White breaks the hold and elbows back. White is free, but Omega gets him with a spinning heel kick to the back of the head!
Omega slaps himself back into things, and takes aim from a corner. The Terminator drums start again, and Omega leaps in for a V-Trigger to the back. He drags White up to put him on his shoulders, but White is dead weight. Omega tries again, getting White up, but then White holds ropes. Omega lets him down, to hit that third Snap Dragon! White crawls to ropes, and Omega “reloads” for a second “BANG!” Omega runs but White flops down, denying Omega a target. Red Shoes checks on White, but Omega drags White up. Omega props White up on the rope, slaps him, “Bang!” and V-Trigger! White slumps down again, and Omega drags him up into a double underhook, for an Omega Driller! Cover, TWO!? Omega can’t believe it!
Omega takes off his elbow pads, he’s getting frustrated with the upstart White. He drags White back up, grinning as he gives a close-up knee. White sways back, eyes glazed over. Omega sits him up again, for another, stiffer knee! Now White laughs?! Omega decides to give him a THIRD knee! Cover, TWO!? Granted Omega’s cover was lax, White still gets his shoulder up by the slimmest of margins. Omega argues with Red Shoes over this, but the count was fair. In that case, Omega goes for the finish. He shovels White up, reaches up, but White slips down. White grabs Omega, but the back suplex is little more than just him pulling Omega backwards. Omega grins at how ineffective that was. He stands up and kicks White while he’s down. Omega stomps away, then drags White up, but then White suddenly hits an effective back suplex!
White finds new life as he stands up, and hits another back suplex! He crawls over to Omega, gritting his teeth as he goes after Omega again. Omega resists and elbows his way out of the hold. White goes for a half ‘n’ half hold, but Omega throws him off. Omega swings but White counters with a body shot. White fires off strikes, then hits the half-nelson suplex! He fires up again as the fans rally, and drags Omega up for a Fisherman Driver! TWO, but White is not deterred. He signals hang loose, then slashes his throat. White drags Omega up, prepares the Switchblade, but Omega fights out. Omega gives White another knee, and White staggers. Omega walks over, but into a Switchblade outta nowhere!
Cover, TWO!! White was so close, but this isn’t over yet. White stands up again, and drags Omega around. He goes for a proper Switchblade, but Omega breaks free for the full nelson. White breaks free of that, but Omega hits the Reverse-Rana! The fans rally while Omega fires himself up again. He aims, “BANG!”, and hits another running V-Trigger! Omega shovels White up, but White slips down again for another Switchblade!
White covers, White WINS!!
Winner: Jay White
We have a NEW IWGP United States Champion!! Somehow, some way, White proved Omega wrong.
However, Bullet Club member Hangman Adam Page walks out.
Hangman steps in the ring, and takes the belt from White! The Problem Solver stares down Switchblade, perhaps already setting up a future match. However, Omega walks back in and takes the belt from Page. He moves Page aside to give the belt to the champion. White leaves while the Bullet Club starts arguing. The American Nightmare, Cody, appears and enters the argument. Cody says “this isn’t about you,” Omega. This is Hangman’s time, Hangman is Cody’s “best friend”, so don’t take his moment. Omega starts shoving both Cody and Hangman, and now The Villain, Marty Scurll appears to try and calm everyone down.
Omega won’t calm down, he and Cody argue directly. Matt Jackson joins his brother Nick as they’re behind Omega. When Matt puts his hands on Omega, Omega shoves Matt down! Omega realizes what he did in his anger, and tries to apologize. The Young Bucks don’t hear him out, they take their leave. Omega tries to apologize all the way as they walk around the ring, but they still ignore him. Scurll says Omega, Page and Cody need to sort this out themselves. Page accepts an apology handshake from Omega, then leaves it to just Cody and Omega. The two seem to talk it over, and go to leave, but Cody pounces on Omega! He drags Omega out for a Cross Rhodes!!
Cody grins and laughs after dropping his Bullet Club leader. Scurll and Page return, Scurll asks what’s going on. Cody kicks Omega while he’s down, and his only explanation is that Omega took Page’s moment. Cody tells Page and Scurll to bring Omega up, then Cody takes Kevin Kelly’s chair. Page holds Omega, Scurll tries to diffuse the situation, but Kota Ibushi appears!
Cody, Page and Scurll run away from the fired up Golden Star! Ibushi defends his old friend from the mutinous Cody and company. He waits until Cody, Page and Scurll are all out of sight, then turns to Omega. Ibushi walks over, and offers Omega a hand. The fans are cheering this reunion, but Omega isn’t so sure. He drags himself up, Ibushi still offering that hand. Omega thinks about it long and hard, and Ibushi starts to doubt this himself. But then Ibushi turns Omega around, and they hug!
The Golden Lovers are reunited! Omega needed a friend, and his friend came running. Will their bond be even stronger than before? And what does this mean in relation to The Bullet Club’s hierarchy?
NJPW Media waits backstage, but Omega & Ibushi blow past them.
While everyone was hoping to get comments and reactions from the defeated and betrayed Cleaner, he and Ibushi are not going to give them that at this time.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Bullet Club regroups.
Scurll again demands to know “What the hell was that?!” Cody instead asks Matt if he’s okay. Cody can’t understand the situation. The Young Bucks and Omega have known each other for 10 YEARS, yet that happens. This is not Cody’s place, but nobody should be second to anybody in the Bullet Club. Cody appreciates the NJPW Media sticking around, but the Bullet Club’s issues are top priority. They go to take care of each other, because “The Bullet Club is fine.” Cody helps Nick escort Matt out, but Scurll and Page are still left in confusion. How long will the Bullet Club be “fine”?
Jay White holds his press conference.
“I must be a prophet of some sort.” White beat Omega, and caused true Chaos in the ring as he left. He said it himself, that once he beat Kenny, The Bullet Club would turn on each other out of fear. Though, it happened even faster than White thought. It feels good to be the second-ever IWGP United States Champion, but if Page wants at him, White promises to rip Page apart. White has worked so long, so hard, and finally beat “the best wrestler alive” in Omega. Page stepped on White’s moment, so White promises that “everyone will breathe with the Switchblade.” Will Page be cut down when he steps to White? Or will Page surprise White the way White surprised Omega?
Finally, finally I get to see the moment that rocked the wrestling world. Omega and White have a top tier match, no matter what promotion you’re talking about. White always impressed in ROH so seeing him win his first championship in NJPW and over a truly incredible talent, that’s big. Of course, a lot of it is to spark the major Bullet Club story, but it is still great that he was the one given the honor of fulfilling this role. White is the perfect young star to take that young title places. As for the civil war brewing in Bullet Club, seeing this for myself did not disappoint. That was the most dramatic Cross Rhodes Cody has ever hit, both for the moment and the actual execution of the move. Omega really sold it, emphasizing how much of a betrayal this was.
Knowing what comes next from watching ROH and Being the Elite, we all know the Bullet Club will not be fine, and the story is far from over. Whatever this story is leading to, it is going to do wonders for NJPW, ROH, the Bullet Club (unless the ending is them breaking up), and the pro-wrestling fandom around the world.
My Score: 9/10